Qantas has kicked-off the revamp of the first of nine Boeing B747-400 aircraft, which will be given an Airbus A380 makeover fitted with enhanced inflight entertainment systems and A380 style seats.
The retrofitted aircraft will be reconfigured to feature a total of 364 seats, with 58 in business class, 36 in premium economy and 270 in economy. Panasonic AVOD IFE systems will also be fitted onto the plane as well as a self-service snack bar in the economy class cabin.
“The new interiors will vastly improve the flying experience for tens of thousands of Qantas passengers every year,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas chief executive.
“Installing A380 style interiors on these B747 aircraft will provide passengers with more style, more comfort, more space and more entertainment.”
The first upgraded aircraft may go into service in October on the Brisbane-Los Angeles route, though nothing has been confirmed yet. The remaining eight will be rolled out across its network by the end of 2012.
This retrofitting project is part of the carrier’s plans to pull itself out of the red, with a significant focus on the robust Asian market. The five-year plan includes a new premium carrier based in Asia (see story here), a low-cost venture with Japan Airlines (see story here), a new direct flight between Sydney and Santiago and restructuring its Joint Services Agreement with British Airways (see story here). The carrier has also purchased up to 110 new A320 aircraft.
For more information, visit www.qantas.com.au